Nuggets October 2018:
Here’s what was on my mind this month. If any of it resonates, make it swing! My doors are (almost) always open and I’d love to hear from you.
(Also, I feel I should apologize, it’s not very nuggety this month but rather chunky with a fair bit of Szechuan sauce. I’d love to know whether you prefer me to keep these short and snappy or are quite happy for me to write a bit more).
What the fuck am I doing?!
That thought crossed my mind a good few times since I decided to hand in my notice and move on from my role at the University I was working for. At the beginning of October I stepped out leaving behind a steady income, a safe job, a valuable association with an established institution and an amazing opportunity to network with hundreds of students from all over the world. Now why would I do that?
Well, the main reason is that I did not want to commit to spending 4 days a week on campus while only teaching 10-12 days per year, with the rest being invested in activities that I found increasingly unsatisfying. My mission is to spread the positive-existential message, to create more spaces where people think more deeply and learn to live and lead with greater courage and ownership and develop what I call existential resilience. Much of the world seems to be in an existential crisis and I felt strongly that I have a lot more to give than I was able to and encouraged by my institution.
In addition, universities are feeling the dire consequences of Brexit already and resources have become scarce across the sector. I also believe that while “Positive Psychology Coaching” as an approach is out there and valuable, academically, in my opinion, we haven’t sufficiently figured out what it is yet or how to integrate the two in a meaningful way at masters level (here’s my talk on the subject from the European Conference on Positive Psychology in Budapest this summer). And since the programme I was leading, the MSc Coaching Psychology, is now closed and all efforts being focused on the Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology programme (which aims to integrate the two), I felt it was time to move on.
So my next steps are to keep growing my coaching and supervision business, to give my upcoming book (see below) the attention it deserves, to start the podcast and blog I’ve been planning and to work with more organisations interested in harvesting the fruits of existential leadership. Today I’ve met with someone from the School of Life (a connection that emerged as result of this email list, thanks Lauren!), next week I’ll be teaching a day at Regent’s University and I’m seeking new opportunities to teach and supervise coaches outside of the small groups and 1:1 programmes I’m running. If you can connect me to someone I’d be grateful. The response from my students was overwintering and a good few left me with heart-warming testimonials. I’m very grateful for my time at UEL and have been describing my emotions around leaving academia as an appropriate mix of joyful excitement and shitting my pants. Here’s to the future! 🙂
What I’ve been reading
I despise a lot of what Amazon stands for – but audible changed a lot for me. Here are a couple of the books I didn’t get to mention over the past few months and I’m sure there are a lot more to come considering the above:
Stealing Fire: Blowing my mind a few pages at the time. Steven and Jamie have been researching flow and other altered states of consciousness for some time. They take you through their experiences with Google, the Navy SEALs, Burning Man and crazy advancements in neuroscience and technology. Flow researchers should check the website and collaborate!
The Power of Habit: We are creatures of habit, both helpful and, well, let’s say not so helpful ones. Establishing the former is key to putting insights from coaching into action – but no easy task. Understanding the “habit loop” is a crucial step in this process.
The E-Myth revisited: Given that I’m now fully entrepreneurial, this was packed with great insight and good storytelling. In essence it’s about creating a blue print for a franchise-like operation. It teaches you how to scale. Not what I was after at this time but incredibly valuable if you’re looking to expand.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: It’s been years since I read the book and listening to the audio version I remembered how jam-packed it is with inspiration, wisdom and tangible examples from parenting to leading organisations. It just makes sense to me from start to finish and comes with clear and well-formulated instructions on how to be the kind of person that everybody should be.
What I’m excited about
A whole bunch of you offered invaluable input on Facebook regarding the 5 suggestions for the book cover to “An Introduction to Existential Coaching”. As a result we’ve added a bit of colour and discussed the possibility of making the image a little more gender neutral (unfortunately that wasn’t something the designers would tackle and we decided to go ahead as it is.) It’s amazing to see something so dear to your heart take shape and to have so many people participate. Thank you!
What I’m selling (special offers)
I’m excited to announce two new dates for my coach training weekends this January. Positive Psychology for Coaches on the 19th & 20th and Existential Coaching on the 26th & 27th. Early bird tickets are available until the 15th November and are sold on first-come-first-served basis (and you’ve got second dips after those who were on the waiting list from last time.)
In case you can’t make it into London, I will soon launch the online version of the Positive Psychology training weekend (full recordings of the weekend plus monthly live Q&A with yours truly.) We’re in the final stages of editing and I’m expecting to be ready in January at the latest. You are the first I wanted to offer the Early Bird tickets to, which are going at 50%.
What I’m grateful for
There are now over 400 readers in this list and about 50% are regularly reading my little musings (which in newsletter terms are brilliant stats!) I’m very grateful to have you interested in what’s going on for me and what’s happening in my mind and am always taken aback by the range of replies.
As always, I’d love to hear what inspired you this month, what you’re reading and what you’d like to see me share in the future. I’d also love to know which kind of nuggets you’re most interested in and which ones you’d like to have more of or less of.